Oklahoma's home streak ends against 'Nova

Crocker's career-high 19 points not enough in OU's 67-51 loss to Villanova.

Norman, Okla. — The Oklahoma basketball team struggled on both ends of the floor as Villanova halted their 49-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents beating the Sooners 67-51 Wednesday night in Norman.

Oklahoma never fired against 'Nova and that was what frustrated OU head coach Jeff Capel the most following the game.

"This is the kind of game where you have trouble sleeping," said Capel following the game. "I know because I played in a lot of these games and nobody had to tell me to get up for this kind of game. I was worried about our guys the last couple of days. This is the kind of game where I should be worried about calming everybody down, but instead we were too even-keeled. Television games are usually easy to get up for, but some players react differently and we didn't handle it well tonight.

"We didn't play with the passion and desire that I want to see out of our team. We didn't play well tonight and that is very disturbing for me."

The Sooners led 2-0 and 14-13 at the 10:52 mark of the first half after a 3-pointer by Michael Neal, but that would be seniors' last bucket of the night and things went downhill from there as Villanova responded with an 18-2 run.

'Nova led 36-25 at halftime and pushed the lead to as many as 19 in the second half, but the Sooners would get no closer than 10 in the second half.

Oklahoma struggled on both ends of the floor as Wildcat senior Mike Nardi dominated OU with 23 points. Senior Curtis Sumpter added 14 and freshman point guard Scottie Reynolds 10.

Reynolds, the one-time Sooner commit, was booed as soon as took the LNC court and just about every time he touched the ball, but he played a solid floor game with 10 points and four assists despite four tournovers.

Freshman Tony Crocker was the only player who looked like he felt confident in his game for the Sooners finishing with a career-high 19 points and five rebounds. Junior center Longar Longar was solid finishing with 12 points and six rebounds.

Meanwhile, OU's three most experienced players from last season — junior David Godbold and seniors Mike Neal and Nate Carter — combined for just four points on 1-of-12 shooting.

OU shot only 43.8 percent from the field and just 7-for-22 from 3-point range. 'Nova shot 45.5 percent from floor, but took seven more shots than the Sooners and had many more easy buckets than the Sooners. Both teams had 31 rebounds.

One key for OU in the future is the scoring of senior guard Michael Neal. Neal came off the bench and never got going finishing with just three points in 23 minutes on 1-for-5 shooting.

The estimated attendance was 7,000, but by the looks of the crowd it wasn't that good. Villanova improved to 7-1 on the year, while the Sooners dropped to 4-3.

OU will play Coppin State Saturday night at the LNC at 7:00 p.m.

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